Oct 9, 2013

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Halloween thrills with The Diva and CultureMap!


I’m pleased as pumpkin pie to announce that the fun and freaky folks at Mockingbird Station have asked me to co-host a Halloween party at one of my FAVORITE bars, The People’s Last Stand!

On Oct. 30 at 8 p.m., moi and CultureMap Dallas nightlife editor Jonathon Rienstra will welcome ghouls and goblins of the night of sips, snacks and supreme scares! There’ll be prizes for the best costumes, so whip out your best gear and dress to impress! Too, we’ll be handing out two drink tickets for all guests, and complimentary bites will be available — so far, this is win-win territory, chickadees.

The screens behind the bar will be showing horror flicks AND DJ Blake Ward will be in the house spinning up a musical storm. The bestest part? All this is free and open to the public (21 and up, of course)! I really, truly hope to see you there — do stop by and say hi. Not sure what costume I’ll be going for, but I always love the flapper look. Oooh, or perhaps I’ll get dolled up like Joan on Mad Men. Hmmmm, so much to choose from. You’d do well to choose fabulously to contend for one of the prizes. Whatever you decide, I hope to see you on Oct. 30! Make sure to RSVP at the event’s Facebook page here.

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Oct 8, 2013

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Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer hits Dallas


For most of this year, I’ve been on a major ginger beer kick, where my cocktails are concerned. I looove how the spicy, sweet elixir adds a back-of-the-throat tickle to every beverage it’s in. Even a little fizz! The stuff is even delicious on its own, I recently learned …

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Oct 3, 2013

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Get your buns to Sissy’s brunch

Sissy's sardue

For those Saturdays when you’re looking to rise ‘n’ shine in the most Southern way possible, head on over to Henderson — Sissy’s Southern Kitchen just launched its new brunch menu, and it is dredge-me-in-flour-and-fry-me-up GOOD! I wouldn’t fib about the most important meal of the day, y’all …

Sissy's drinks

Once you’ve teased your tongue with some tantalizing beverages (above — I firmly recommend the Passion Peach Bellini!), make your way over to the heart of the menu. Among some of the standouts were this creamy, dreamy, hearty Chicken & Dumplings (below), with wickedly tender shreds of Sissy’s chicken, veggies and cornmeal-chive dumplings. Jaw-droppingly good stuff folks — I loved the way the dumplings just melted in your mouth, and the freshness of the veg assortment. The accompanying cornbread was exquisite.

Sissy's soup

Another high point on the menu was the NOLA-inspired Eggs Sardou — you know I love most anything New Orleans. Wink! The poached eggs over spinach and artichoke hearts (top) was surprisingly pleasing — surprising because I’m generally not a fan of whole artichokes, and this one was fine as could be under velvety hollandaise and alongside a generous potato hash.

But no visit to Sissy’s brunch (or the Southern U.S., for that matter) would be complete without Chicken & Waffles!

sissy's chicken

Two hot-out-the-fryer pieces of Sissy’s famous fried chicken come atop a crisp, mildly sweet buttermilk waffle with a big, ol’ pat of honey butter. My sampler dish came with a side of Steen’s cane syrup, but if that Dixie delicacy isn’t your thing, I say order up some of the organic maple variety. The cane syrup was a tad too reminiscent of molasses for me, but it didn’t keep me from wolfing down the waffle and the juicy, perfectly seasoned drumstick. I’m dreaming of devouring it again very soon. Oh, Sissy’s, may your Southern-fried culinary stylings never change! And, YOU, my chickadee, get thee to the East Dallas restaurant for Saturday brunch with haste. The restaurant hopes to expand to Sunday, but until then, clear out your Saturday and prepare to wait — it is certainly worth it.

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Sep 23, 2013

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Plano scores primo pizza with Taverna Rossa

Plano's Taverna Rossa rules | TheDallasDiva.com

Last week, I had the immense pleasure of sampling some sweet pizza pie love at Plano’s newest pizza spot, Taverna Rossa. What a cute spot! The interior’s all rustic-feeling, with tons of wood furniture and accents, lovely strung-up lights and even antler adornments, all of which give the place a relaxed feel. Too, there’s a stage where Taverna Rossa hosts local music acts.

Taverna Rossa, Plano | TheDallasDiva.com

I moseyed up to the bar and sampled the Rossa Mule, their take on a Moscow Mule, except with fruit-infused bourbon instead of vodka. It was brilliant — quite spicy, thanks to the potent ginger beer. I’ll have another, bartender! And I did! My friend Dr. Lucy thoroughly enjoyed a Mule and later the Thyme’s Up, an herb-tinged cocktail brimming with tart grapefruit and berry flavors.

Taverna Rossa, Plano | TheDallasDiva.com

But it’s the pies you want to know about, right? Taverna Rossa keeps them thin-crust and crispy, with delightfully crusty edges. I sampled a number of exotic house varieties, including the Kona Fire Pie starring jalapenos, pineapple nuggets and cashews (!!!). Not quite my speed, but tasty, with some textural pizzazz from the nuts and heat from the peppers. Aloha! Really, my absolute favorite pie was the All-American, with pepperoni, Luscher’s sausage, turkey canadian bacon, bacon, fontina cheese and a house-blend mozzarella. Simple yet stupendous, it was a saucy, juicy, cheesy pie — everything I love in a pizza. Between the welcoming vibe and decor, the tasty cocktails and the hearty pizza, Taverna Rossa brings a cool new Italian-flavored hub to the northern ‘burbs.

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Sep 18, 2013

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Chefs for Farmers cocktail king crowned


This past Sunday, the annual farm-to-fork foodie extravaganza Chefs for Farmers christened the crafter of what will be this year’s event’s signature cocktail.

At the Cocktail Mix-Off at Uptown watering hole The Standard Pour, seven of the city’s finest drinks slingers were invited to concoct an amazing drink using Maker’s Mark bourbon. Among the restos represented were FT33, Boulevardier and The Standard Pour itself. I sipped all kinds of heady, fresh, very inventive beverages ranging from tart and summery to spicy and seasonal.

The mixologists raise a glass ...

The mixologists raise a glass …

Coming out ahead of the pack, however, was the very seasonal apple-heavy Steep Buzz by Boulevardier’s Eddie Eakin, also containing Earl Grey tea-infused honey syrup, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, apple bitters and lemon juice — complex, delish, and very comforting, thanks to the apple. And the bourbon, I won’t lie. Wink!

Eddie cheers his triumph.

Eddie cheers his triumph.

The win means Eddie’s drink will be the featured bev at Chefs for Farmers: Down & Dirty on the Boulevard, taking place Nov. 3 in Lee Park. As always, it will be a union of purveyors, ranchers and growers and the 40+ chefs who love and will cook up their products for foodie guests. Get your ticket here, and quickly — this event, in its fourth year, has a pesky tendency to sell out. It’s not to be missed if you love great, fresh food.

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